From WILSON BAKO, Lafia
THE Chief Judge (CJ), of Nasarawa State Justice Suleiman Dikko, has assigned Counsels to indigents inmates awaiting trials in Wamba Custodial Centre.
The CJ took the action on Wednesday in Medium Security Custodial Centre, Wamba Local Government Area (LGA) during the last quota tour to review the cases of inmates that were wrongly detained.
Dikko explained that the action was aimed at decongesting the facility and ensuring justice.
He assigned counsel from the office of the Legal Aid Council of Nigeria to indigent inmates to enable them get justice.
The CJ also expressed surprised on why some inmates were not taken to court for a long time.
“I am surprised that there are awaiting trial inmates who have been in detention for more than four years without a counsel.
“We have assigned dates to all of them and would put machinery in motion to ensure that henceforth every inmate is taken to court on the day his matter is schedule,” the CJ said.
Justice Dikko also threatened to sanction judges of lower courts who go out of the provisions of the law by sentencing accused persons for fine.
The CJ explained that no accuse person who is found guilty is supposed to be jail for fine after jailing him or her for the offense committed.
He therefore urged the judges indulging in this act to desist in order to to give the judiciary a bad name.
The CJ also discharged five inmates and advised them to be of good conduct and desist from actions that could bring them back to custodial centre.
Earlier, Emmanuel Okoro, State Controller of Nigeria Correctional Service, expressed gratitude to the CJ and his team for the visit.
He also advised inmates who are not lucky to be discharge today not to lose hope as the exercise is a continue one and they maybe lucky next time.
The CJ was accompanied in the visit by judges, Legal Aids Council of Nigeria. Human Rights Commission, Controller of Nigerian Correctional Service among others.
Meanwhile, Justice Suleiman Dikko, Chief Judge (CJ) of Nasarawa State, has discharged 18 inmates awaiting trial in Lafia Medium Security Correctional Centre.
The CJ, who discharged the inmates last Tuesday in Lafia from the facility, said the exercise was in line with the powers bestowed on him by the law.
Dikko listed the names of the inmates to includes; Danladi Africa, Musa Adamu, Abubakar Usman, Abel Jinah, Idris Abdullahi, Adamu Abdul, Abubakar Mohammed, Ibrahim Abdullahi, Nasiru Adamu and Innocent Peter.
Others includes; Nathan Ibrahim, Felecia Aka’a, Thankgod Ponzhi, Clement Godo, Ima Gbagyo, Isende Ondona, Peter Ishaya and Maimuna Ibrahim.
The CJ explained that the routine visit was part of his duties aimed at decongesting the custodial centre and ensure justice to inmates who were wrongly detained.
He pointed out that the police, Correctional Service authority, and other stakeholders should rise up to their responsibilities to ensure speedy administration of justice in the state.
He therefore advised the discharged inmates to exhibit good character as they go out and avoid committing any crime that would bring them back to the facility.
Earlier, Emmanuel Okoro Nasarawa State Controller of Correctional Service, said the facility has 582 inmates, out of which 106 are convicts while 476 are awaiting trials.
He therefore said that they were lacking sufficient vehicles to take awaiting trail inmates to courts among others and appealed for assistance.